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Messages - narvin

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Ingredients / Re: Too much lactic acid?
« on: January 01, 2013, 05:23:31 PM »

I thought that the actual addition of any type of acid to a German lager was against the reinheitsghebot? I thought that is why they used acid malt???

Do pragmatist beatniks follow the R-hgbot?  Other than the hocus pocus, lactic acid should be the same.

Ingredients / Re: Too much lactic acid?
« on: January 01, 2013, 03:30:44 PM »
If that's what Bru'n water tells you to do, it's probably correct. Double-check for operator error on the spreadsheet, but it's always within +/-0.1 pH when I check with my meter.

Yeah, that's what it says.  I'm not as concerned about the pH as the taste threshold.  Is that enough to taste in a 5.5 gal. batch if that's what I need to hit my pH?

No, you won't taste sourness from that amount of Lactic acid.  If anything, it adds to the "german flavor".

Anywhere from 2 to 3% acid malt is common in German light lagers.  If you download Kai's water calculator spreadsheet, there is an option to enter either ml of lactic acid or % grist as acid malt.  I'm pretty sure what you're using is within this range.

Ingredients / Re: Too much lactic acid?
« on: January 01, 2013, 03:29:13 PM »
This is for 5 gallons, right?  That sounds close to the rate that I use in the mash, and I have relatively low bicarbonates in my water (around 60ppm).  What is your water like?  I use half of what you plan to in the sparge water to adjust it to pH 5.5... If you need that much acid to bring your sparge water down to the correct pH,  you may be able to use more in the mash.

The other alternative is to reduce the pH more in the kettle.  Although it doesn't sound Reinheitsgebot-kosher to do that, Kao has talked about it and actually mentioned that a higher mash pH can favor the enzymes that make a more attenuative wort.  If you aim for 5.4 or 5.5 in the mash you should be fine, but you can reduce it to 5.2 with acid (or perhaps, a decoction) after that. 

At any rate, I think you current additions should be fine.  Definitely try to measure the pH if you can.  It's not necessary to do every time, but I find it very useful to calibrated against the spreadsheet estimates.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast - refrigerate ASAP
« on: December 29, 2012, 08:26:18 PM »
How are you checking yeast health?  From what I've read, the methylene blue stain is not accurate below 95% viability.

Equipment and Software / Re: Happened Again!
« on: December 29, 2012, 08:23:31 PM »
How are you measuring the gravity? You should degass before taking a hydrometer reading by pouring back and forth between two glasses repeatedly.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« on: December 28, 2012, 01:20:24 PM »
I have an unsubstantiated theory that lactic acid, not just low pH, is a contributor to the flavor of light German lagers.  But I'd have to do that whole side by side thingie to actually find out.   ;)

The Pub / Re: Beer: UK vs Belgium on TV
« on: December 27, 2012, 10:47:14 AM »
Is it Zane Lamprey?

They should have made the British judge Carl Pilkington.

St. Bernardus Prior 8, and as was previously mentioned, try a strong dark as well (St. Bernardus Abt 12).

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Tank #7
« on: December 25, 2012, 03:47:13 AM »
I tried it on tap in St Louis and really loved it.  In fact, it sort of inspired me to try using the American Farmhouse yeast blend in a few beers.  Not saying that's what they used but it seems similar.  But, I can't get it here so I can't say if I'm getting anything close to a clone. 
Very nice saison-esque beer.

Same here. I was really inspired by it as well. White Labs 670 yeast is simply amazing.

Although I celebrate the whole Boulevard collection, Tank 7 is hands down my favorite. The whole smokestack series is awesome but this one is very special. I love the American interpretation of the traditional Belgian/French farmhouse and this one is at the top of my list!

Boulevard Saison Brett is their Tank 7 with dry hopping and Brett at bottling (i.e. Orval style). Try it if you like 670.

Narvin - Marketing is more than just ads. Marketing involves any messages (intentional or unintentional, explicit or implicit) between you and your customers. Descriptions of beers, and "about us" sections on breweries' websites is what I was mainly thinking of, but even the "buzz" around a brand is just as much a form of marketing as a super bowl ad.

Again, the "buzz" around craft beer is at least beer related.  There's no doubt that craft beer is a culture, identity, scene, or whatever you want to call it, but it didn't grow because of low budget web sites and labels.  A lot of people were involved, and this identity you see today was created by the brewers, bar owners, and patrons.  Saying that unintentional messages is the same as focus groups and tv spots is just silly.

Comparing small brewery marketing and branding with the constant tv spots from Bud shows a big difference.  There are degrees here;  it's not all the same just because it's "marketing".  The closest thing I see to exploitative marketing from craft beer comes from Sam Adams, but they're appealing to the macro drinkers with those ads.

I don't think it's crazy to say that part of the popularity of big brands is due to advertising, much of which is completely unrelated to the actual product.  "Chew this gum.  It will give you a sense of identity and a peer group to belong to that, as a insecure young person, you probably lack". 

Wait, is your gum analogy talking about mass-market beer, or the kind of person who defines their life around their 'small-batch/authentic/artisanal/hand-made/craft' beer? Craft brewers use marketing too (except the monks at Westy).

I see most craft brewing advertisements as being about beer, not about making you a better skateboarder, manly man, or fantasy football player.  There is a culture of artisinal/trendy/extreme beer drinkers that is exploited by some craft beer ads, but most of this exists naturally and is driving the ads, not the other way around.  Whether you find these people annoying or pretentious is an unrelated factor.

Sure they could stop buying bud if they didn't like it but they DO like it. I am just questioning WHY they like it. There is always an argument that 'if people didn't like it they wouldn't do it that way' but if I can make a product and convince lots of people they like it then I can keep making that product.

It sounds arrogant and condescending to say "You like what you like because you're brainwashed, while I like what I like because I have good taste."

I'm sure a lot of Bud drinkers think we're all pretentious suckers for paying $20 for one bottle of an infected, sour beer that's sat around in barrels for a year.

I don't think it's crazy to say that part of the popularity of big brands is due to advertising, much of which is completely unrelated to the actual product.  "Chew this gum.  It will give you a sense of identity and a peer group to belong to that, as a insecure young person, you probably lack". 

But, the other part of the equation is that most things which are intended for mass consumption are created through a finely tuned process involving research, focus groups, and making the most middle of the road, formulaic thing possible.  Which works great for making a useful widget to sell, but not so great when making art or craft.  Really, when in history did the world's best craftsmen ever send out a survey asking how people would like their products made?  The thing is, most people don't need craftsmanship for everything.  They're satisfied with a product if it isn't one of their main interests.

Now, judging whether a brewery is a "craft brewery" by number of barrels produced seems misguided, but there is a grain of truth here.  The more beer you brew, the more you have to appeal to people outside the enthusiast group to people who aren't necessarily interested in craftsmanship.  Luckily, the growing interest in beer and education about beer styles and history has increased the base of people looking for interesting and diverse beers, so it's definitely possible for craft breweries to be larger now.

Ingredients / Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« on: December 10, 2012, 08:40:19 AM »
Except for chalk, I think the salts should be pretty soluble in water.  But, you shouldn't be adding chalk to your sparge water anyway.  I've never noticed a problem getting them to disolve in the hlt with just some gentle stirring.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I'm a rebel, Dotty, a loner...
« on: December 05, 2012, 08:42:25 AM »
Simone: Do you have any dreams?
Pee-wee: Yeah, I'm all alone. I'm rolling a big doughnut and this snake wearing a vest...

Going Pro / Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« on: November 30, 2012, 07:51:55 PM »
What a beautiful sight!

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